I think all parents have a right to know what is being taught in public school. But SB 656 goes way way too far — “permitting the parent of any student to …provide, as an alternative, nonexplicit instructional material and related academic activities to any student whose parent so requests” is bad policy. There are not always good alternatives. Period.
This policy as written creates more costs AND will end with inferior education. This is expensive bad policy. This policy if implemented as written enables any parent to interfere with the learning of all. I have a three kids in public school and I don’t want parents giving my teachers more work OR making my kids’ education worse.
I believe in freedom. This is censorship. Kids benefit from working through and confronting conflicting ugly themes in a safe, positive setting with professionals. Cancelling that content doesn’t cancel their needs. They need support and they need public school systems and policies that support their learning. Not censorship. Not SB 656.
I would prefer this bill eliminated. BUT I encourage legislators to amend the bill. I would like to see a hold on any modifications to curriculum for one year. Let’s just test and see which books are highlighted and why. Then maybe we will better understand what the ask really is. Let’s focus our budget and priorities around dealing with actual problems — inflation, housing, and healthcare. Not this.